Sunday, December 6, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-The man from U.N.C.L.E (2015)-Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer

The series from 1960’s is back in this smart movie in which two CIA and KGB operatives join forces to track down and destroy a criminal organization hell bent on developing and launching nuclear weapons. Highly enjoyable to say the least. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Man on high heels (2014-Korean)

A cop who had a desire to become a woman fights criminals and crooks while at the same time trying to fulfill his desires. Brutal fighting sequences with great action. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hallow (2015)-Irish

A man moves his family to an Irish village and encounters monsters hidden near his isolated house. Just a time killer and nothing much after that. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Brotherhood of blades (Chinese-2014)

Three unknown assassins try to fulfill an emperor’s wish to kill a powerful eunuch in this martial arts movie. Watch it for the action and nothing else. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Police Story 2013 (2013-Hong Kong) - Jackie Chan

Also known as Police Story: Lockdown has an aging Police officer fighting to save his daughter who is trapped inside a night club held hostages by a person who wants a prisoner released from Jail. Jackie Chan may be delighted but as I am also a Jackie Chan fan, there are few fights and more talking in this movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon (2013-Chinese)

A detective tries to find the mystery behind a sea monster terrorizing a small town in this blend of mystery and action. Recommended

Sunday, November 29, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies- 7 Assassins (2013-Hong Kong)

Stolen gold is pursued by soldiers and others in this action packed Martial arts movie. If you like Martial arts (like me), you will enjoy it. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Princess and the Seven Kungfu Masters (2013-Hong kong)

Martial Arts comedy movie about you guessed it a princess and the seven kungfu masters trying to save her. Fun movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

A prequel to the first two shows how a family battles a supernatural entity. Better than the second one. Recommended for horror fans only.

On the lighter side-Movies-Lumberjack Man (2015)

Bloody horror comedy movie about a campsite invaded by a demon logger bent on killing the members of a church. Some hilarious moments but most bloody action. Recommended for fun

On the lighter side-Movies-High Kick Angels (2014-Japan)

A group of girls filming a martial arts movie in an abandoned school must battle their way out of it when the school is put in a lock down by criminals. Martial arts mayhem Japanese style. It is an okay movie, nothing special. Recommended with caution

Saturday, November 28, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Tomorrowland (2015)-George Clooney

A special effects laden movie about two teenagers curious enough to explore a place that only exists in the mind. The first half of the movie, I did not know where the movie is going and the rest of it left me scratching my head. Not Recommended

On the lighter side¬-Movies-Inside Out (2015)-Animated

After a girl is uprooted from her town to move to a new one, her emotions tries to navigate her through her new life. Great animated movie both for adults and children. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-San Andreas (2015)-Dwayne Johnson

A massive earthquake rips through California where a rescue worker tries to save his wife and daughter trapped in the earthquake zone. Tense and very well done with great special effects. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Terminator: Genisys (2015)-Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator is back in this tired series where you see John Connor sends a soldier to protect Sarah Connor to protect the future but complications arise. Although a good effort, it should be better not to make more of these and move on. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The Wrath of Vajra (2013-Hong Kong)

A Shaolin master vows revenge on people who have killed his brother in this dark Martial arts fantasy with good action work. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-TrainWreck (2015)

A commitment phobic woman faces the prospect of falling in love with a good guy in this hit or miss movie. I don’t know how it made so much money but it is not funny as described by some sites. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Gallows (2015)

A school stage play where an actor was hanged makes a revival 20 years after the tragedy with disastrous results. Despite my being not going to watch found footage I end up watching them anyway and then regret to write these. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Ichi (2008)-Japan

A blind guitar play woman roams Japan and fends off Japanese Yakuza and criminals with excellent swordplay in this bloody Japanese action movie. Sometimes slow but makes up with goods sword action. Recommended

Saturday, October 17, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-I spit on your grave: Vengeance is mine (2015)

A women haunted by the rapes she had endures years before goes into relapse and hunt down alleged rapists and would be rapists in the most imaginative ways. Not for the faint of heart and extremely gory to say the least. Watch at your own risk. Recommended with caution. But not the best of the series

On the lighters side-Movies-Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)-Robert Downey Jr., Jessica Alba

A must see superheroes action movie best appreciated on a big screen in which a Tony stark tries to revive a peace keeping plan for the earth which goes horribly wrong. Highly Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

A prequel to the original in which a psychic tries to help a teenager struggling against a supernatural evil entity. Better than the second one. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Journey to the west: Conquering the demons (2013-China)

A Chinese fantasy comedy action movie about a priest trying to fight off demons. It was a great special effects movie and you would not get bored. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Milfs vs. Zombies (2015)

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On the lighter side-Movies-Ju-On: The beginning of the end (2014-Japan)

Another in the long line of haunted house horror movies from Japan, this time a teacher is curious enough to visit the house of the boy who has been absent from school for a long time. Naturally she gets the chills out of this stupid expedition. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Saving General Yang (2013-Chinese)

A General is held captive by the enemy and it is up to his seven sons and his wife to save him in this action movie. Great fighting sequences. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Navy Seals Vs Zombies (2015)

The title says it all as group of elite U.S. Navy seals are send to rescues the vice president in a city infected with Zombies. Not a great movie and it shows in its production. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-American Sniper (2015)-Bradley Cooper

True story of the most celebrated and deadliest sniper in U.S. military history with excellent performances by Bradley Cooper. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-4got10 (2015)-Dolph Lundgren, Michael Pare

I got into the movie with the name of the actors. Bad move and a bad movie with wooden acting and action. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Eaters (2015)

A group of friends are stranded in an abandoned town stalked by weird people. Not recommended for anybody. The horror starts at the end of the movie. Stay away from it.

On the lighter side-Movies-Deathgasm (2015)

A loner kid joins a heavy metal band and comes across supposedly demonic lyrics to summon up the devil. Naturally the kid and the band has to fight for his lives as zombies sprout up everywhere in his town. Extremely gory and weird, but good horror movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)-Michael Gross

Tremors is back with this latest installment as a hunter seeks out a strange and deadly creature in South Africa. With comedy provided by the lead actors, a fun movie to watch. Recommended with caution

Saturday, September 26, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Some Kind of Hate (2015)

A bullied boy unwillingly wakes up a dead girl who committed suicide due to bullying and the dead girl exacts revenge against her former tormenters in this very bloody horror movie. Recommended for gore scenes.

On the lighter side-Movies-Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015)

A group of people fight off a horde of zombies in a town infected by a virus. Okay movie with enough action sequences with a sprinkle of comedy throughout. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Hot Pursuit (2015)-Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vegara

A cop tries to protect the wife of a drug lord against hired gunmen and corrupt cops in this girl buddy action comedy movie. Some hit or miss scenes but still entertaining to kill your time. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Unfriended (2015)

A dead girl’s revenge on bullies shot entirely from the point of view on social media is claustrophobic but entertaining. Recommended for curiosity sake.

On the lighter side-Movies-Furious 7 (2015)-Vin Diesel, Paul Walker

Also known as fast and furious 7, this all around super action thriller movie follows a skilled killer targeting the team. Unbelievable action sequences and much fun, Paul walker last movie is a treat for the eyes. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Seventh Son (2014)-Jeff Bridges

Evil witches and monster hunters all in one in this medieval fantasy action movie. Passable but not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Cooties (2014)-Elijah Wood

A virus turns school children into murderous zombies as teachers fight against them in this horror comedy somewhat unique movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Last Shift (2014)

A rookie cop first shift at a closing abandoned station turns into a supernatural nightmare in this somewhat bloody horror movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (2015)

A cop coming back to the force after surviving an attack gets hold of an evidence regarding corrupt cops who in turn lockdown the precinct and try to hunt him down. Action galore. Recommended for action fans only.

On the lighter side-Movies-The burning dead (2015)

A sheriff tries to save a family stranded in a mountain town from lava covered zombies awaken by a curse. Nothing special here except for the new concept of lava zombies. Just for curiosity sake, watch it. But not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Cop Car (2015)-Kevin Bacon

Two ten year olds steal an abandoned cop car and is pursued by a corrupt sheriff in this small town action drama. Nothing special except for Kevin Bacon in the picture. Not recommended

Sunday, September 20, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Chain of Command (2015)-Michael Jai White

A returned veteran searches for his brother’s killers in this standard action fare. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-SuperFast! (2015)

Dumb is one word to describe this fast and furious serious spoof with enough dumb and stupid jokes to have a few silly laughs. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Contracted: Phase II (2015)

Continuation of the Zombie virus movie with more bloods and gore. If you have not seen the first one, don’t bother with this one either. Just an excuse to kill your precious time. Not Recommended

Saturday, September 19, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Max Max: Fury Road (2015)-Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

Mad Max is back in this superb action packed movie in which a woman rebels against a ruler in post apocalyptic world and is targeted by the ruler and his henchman. Bigger and badder action packed racing and thrills. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Air (2015)

Two engineers tasked with preserving life after the air in the world becomes nonexistent deal with loneliness and with their own lives in this weird and strange movie which is a sci fi with nonexistent special effects. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Wolf Warrior (2015-China)-Scott Adkins

A Chinese Special forces is targeted by foreign mercenaries hired by a drug lord to eliminate him in this action packed movie. Nothing exciting about it and if did not watch it, that will be okay. Not Recommended

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sleep issues

No I am not talking about myself as I don’t have any problem with falling asleep but there millions of people out there who can’t fall asleep and have to rely on sleeping pills to get by. Some the sleeping pills you can have it over the counter without any prescription but they are of the type that it does not work most of the time. And the prescription ones are the most potent ones but there is always danger that people will get addicted to it and just will pop the pills even when they don’t need one. And there is always a debate of how much sleep do you need in order to function properly each day. The experts always start with eight hours or more for adults and more than 9 and above hours for kids. But this assumption has been lately crumbling for adults at least since it is now being said that even six hours of sleep is sufficient for some people and they will feel equally fresh and equal to people who have eight hours or more. I feel that six hours is enough for an adult but if you had the chance to sleep more than there is no harm in it but six hours is enough to function in a day. But I know that some people don’t have time to sleep as they are so much engrossed in their work that sleep becomes a luxury and for that reason they always seem to look tired and dizzy. People should take sleep seriously as it is essential for your body and to rest from all the work related stresses so that one can function properly for the next day’s work.

Coffee galore

Coffee it seems is the number one choice of the American public and with the influence of the media, many people around the world are adapting to it and getting addicted to it. I don’t like tea but I love coffee but am not addicted to it in any way since I can stay without coffee for few days on stretch. The American coffee market is dominated by coffee giants who make a lot of money on the people’s addiction. And it is not only the coffee giants but also the regular small mom and pop shops and the people with the cart business that really make a lot of money on the coffee. When I go in the morning to my work I see lots of people holding or lining up to get their so called coffee fix and it does not matter what kind they are having. Some people are very particular about where they get the coffee and if it means spending a few dollars more than usual they will do that. And most of the people have to get their morning coffee fix in order to function properly during the day. Thank God I am not one of those people. One cup of coffee is enough for me a day or even no coffee and I can function easily. Due to the huge coffee craze there are sometimes concerns about weather related issues which can affect coffee production in some major coffee producing areas but overall people really don’t care about how much coffee costs as long as they get their fix and hopefully the coffee reliant companies will make sure not to have any shortage of this essential ingredient loom much larger.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back to Greece once again

So the Greece came back from the brink and decided somewhat mutely that it is better to stay in Euro then to devastate your economy and go into the uncertain future of drachma (the old Greece currency before the Euro), although I would like them to have control over their own destiny and have their own currency (but who am I to say that since I am nobody in this case but anyway), according to my analysis, it will just buy them some time before they will be back for one more if they don’t drastically change their life style or don’t have their debt reduced or eliminated entirely. The package that was being offered to them is around 94 billion dollars and it will last for three years but it would not all go into Greece’s treasury as they say what goes in must come out and that is exactly what will happen. The amount of debt that Greece holds right now and the amount of aid being offered (as above) would be just recycling as whatever aid would come to Greece would be paid back to the creditors of the old debt and the retired debt would be replaced by new debt to be paid later on (if it ever gets paid). I believe that Greece are very nice people and they should have the chance to start over again and it is better for them to have their own currency and then build their countries on the basis of exports and other manufacturing and work hard to regain their rightful status in the world. They should renegotiate their debt and if not working out properly should leave the Euro and strike on their own. I know that it will require more sacrifice and hard work but at least they will not be swinging from one crisis to another and holding their breath every couple of years on their finances.

The Iran Nuclear Deal-2

As I read somewhere recently, most of the critics of this deal do not want Iran to join the rest of the world community and they would want to keep the status quo. It has happened with Cuba but Iran is not Cuba and if the deal is not ratified on either side it will play in the hands of the extremists’ element on both sides to justify their insistence that either side cannot be trusted. While Cuba did not have the money and the geography to play world politics or create trouble, Iran is the opposite as it has borders with several very volatile countries in the most troubled part of the world. It has strong proxies and despite being dismissive about its ability by the western media and intelligence, it has the capability to defend itself. And lest anybody thinks that Israel will attack Iran and there will be no retaliation on the part of Iran should think very hard. Just to follow up with their threat even muted, Iran will definitely strike back against Israel if provoked. Apart from this, after all the effort of striking out a deal, Iran will feel betrayed by all the years of talk and they will certainly withdraw to their own shell (just assuming). So just being arrogance about your own power and unity in the face of Iranian sanctions, everybody in Congress should think hard what is best for the United States and the world and if they still feel that they are not happy with the deal and if push comes to shove and a war is started (which the U.S. can ill afford due to its numerous largely hidden financial problems) it would not be good for either the U.S. and the world at large.

The Iran Nuclear Deal

Recently there was a nuclear accord between Iran and Six world powers (or so they say) to restrict Iran’s access to a so called Nuclear bomb. Iran has agreed in principle to restrict its advancement in nuclear research for at least 15 years. Now the United States congress has sixty days to weigh in on the deal and either ratify it or reject it triggering a promising presidential veto or worse overriding it in the hope that since Iran is desperate to roll back the sanctions would do anything to preserve the deal and the world (read: The United States) will have a much better deal. The deal is being opposed by both the Republicans and the democrats’ side in the hope that Iran is not to be trusted and a better deal would be much more favorable. And besides the U.S. Congress, Israel (Naturally) and Saudi Arabia (Naturally once again) and other Arab countries oppose the deal since it give Iran to gain access to the funds they need to further their so called Shiite revolution around the world. Now let's see what this means. I know that after so many years of hard work, nobody wants to go back on the table and discuss better terms which may or may not be in the eyes of some people and whatever deal the world gets in the end would not be good enough for some countries (read: Israel and Saudi Arabia) but what is the alternative to this deal. Iran already have the know how to make the bomb so how are you going to make sure that more sanctions would make them come back for a better deal.

My Open House adventures

I don’t know about other countries but here in America, I love the open house concept. Be it for home buying or admission or anything else, open house name says it all. You don’t have to register in advance or show how much you have in your bank account or even if you are interested. You just have to show your face and check out what is available. And this is the best part of it. I love going to the open houses but mind you I don’t like to go to houses which are less than half a million dollars because I live in one and I would not want to enjoy seeing another house with similar qualities. No my target is an open house with above 600k since they are rarely advertised as open house and you need some kind of invitation or have to the listing or selling agent to ask them to make a tour of the house. And when one house in my range is available as an open house I jump to the occasion even if I know that I would not be able to afford it right away or in few years. It is just fun to see how the rich live in those big houses in exclusive neighborhoods of the city. And if you don’t have anything to do at home especially on Sunday, it is the perfect time to check out these houses since there are several open houses going on that day with the timings between 1 to 5 P.M. I usually try to look for houses in my area or nearby since going out of my town takes time and sometimes you are too lazy especially on Sunday afternoon to have fun like that. So if you want something fun to do, check out open houses in your city or town’s exclusive neighborhoods.

The killing continues

During my slow season on the blog, there was another terrorists attack by a Muslim in which several military personnel were killed or injured. Now it is called Islamic terrorism but I don’t believe there was anything Islamic about it. You may or may not disagree with me but the guy who did the shooting was awaiting trial in a D.U.I (Driving under the influence) and he was not a role model for Muslims despite his beard. The killer name is Muslim but he did do any favor to his religion or his co-religionists to go on a useless rampage to satisfy this desire to achieve the so called Martyrdom. This act by him was simple and plain Terrorism, although he put a face on it by being a Muslim. And as usual Muslims have been slow to accept this fringe part of their community as being the most dangerous in terms of making them more suspicious in the eyes of law enforcement and other non Muslim population at large. It is just useless for any Muslim community leader to condemn these kinds of attacks because they are afraid that they will be shunned by their own community even if they do condemn or are afraid that they will be harmed. And these recent attacks are being inspired by the Islamic State (or IS or ISIS) and America is still in denial of who the real enemy is? It is time to wake up America and contain this beast before it becomes too big to handle and much more sacrifice will be needed if not contained early on.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Kung Fu Jungle (2014-Hong Kong)-Donnie Yen

Also known as Kung Fu Killer, a martial arts instructor incarcerated for killing his opponent, agrees to help the police in exchange for his freedom after a martial artist starts killing his friends. Great action sequences. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Starve (2014)

Three friends go to a ghost town to do some research and end up being a prisoner of a mad man who play games by making them starve for food and then fight to earn it. Not that graphic or horror but entertaining. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)-Kevin James

The mall cop is back in this hilarious action movie. When Paul wants to go to Vegas to get a relaxing vacation, he encounters Art thieves. Fun filled action comedy. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Big Game (2015)-Samuel L. Jackson

A young boy in Finland out to prove to his father that he is a great hunter helps the U.S. President evade terrorists when his plane is shot down in a forest. Fun, adventure movie. Recommended

Saturday, July 25, 2015

On the lighter side-Movie-Barely Lethal (2015)-Samuel L. Jackson

A young assassin, who longs to be a normal kid, fakes her own death and tries to blend into a suburban community and finds out that life is harder in school than she had imagined. Regular teen action, drama movie. Not much to recommend

On the lighter side-Movies-It follows (2015)

A young woman is followed by a unknown supernatural entity after having sex and then she had to get rid of it by transmitting it to another unsuspecting person. A weird movie, if you want to call it but entertaining. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Ex Machina (2015)

An extraordinary movie about a young programmer invited to a tech guru reclusive state to evaluate the qualities of an artificial intelligence robot. Great acting by the lead female robot. Great story line. Recommended

Terror strikes in Kuwait, Tunisia and France

Last week was particularly very gruesome for the as terror struck in Kuwait, Tunisia and France. It was a tragedy that was incomprehensible a few decades ago but the frequency of these attacks has everybody on guard in the world. As all of these attacks were related to Islamic Extremism, the Muslim world’s majority silently or sometimes I should gleefully watches their fellow Muslims minority sects and non Muslims die, they are comfortable in the fact that they are not getting hit. I would not even go Nigeria right now where the massacres are particularly appalling a people die not in the tens but in the hundreds and now the use of female suicide bombers add another dimension to this saga. Now these terror groups not even have to claim responsibility for the carnage as lone wolfs inspired by the hatred speeches of these so called Muslims claim responsibility and show no remorse for their deeds. I am beyond sick reading these terror attacks in the name of a religion which the majority confesses to be of peace but the people claiming to be the silent majority don’t even want to condemn as long as the minorities whom they claim are the so called Non Muslims are dying. How can the world take the plight of Palestinians seriously when their fellow Muslims use terror to silence anybody not sufficient to be Muslims enough in their eyes? I would not say that it is time to confront this evil since it is useless to wake up the Muslim majority because they are in deep slumber and denial and I should say happy to see the so called Non Muslims infidels die while they only condemn when it suits them.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Run all Night (2015)-Liam Neeson

A professional hit must do everything in his power to protect his estranged son from his former mobster friend and boss. Action and tense. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Chappie (2015)-Hugh Jackman

In the near future when the law enforcement is managed by robotic police force, one robot gets updated software which makes it think and act like a human. I enjoyed the movie and so would you. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Gunman (2015)-Sean Penn

An assassin becomes a target himself by unknown assailants in this tired movie with the lead character out of place. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Pound of Flesh (2015)-Jean Claude Van Damme

A dying man trying to save his niece by donating his kidney ends up getting his kidney stolen and takes action to get his kidney back in this action movie. Van Damme, although I have watched his many movies in his heyday years is too tired and worn looking in this movie, but the action sequences are good. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Die Fighting (2014)

A group of Martial artists trying to get a break in Hollywood are forced to confront thugs and criminals by a sadistic director in this action packed but ultimately unsatisfying movie. Not recommended

The Greek drama unfolding

I have wrote some time ago that Greece should exit the Euro Zone but the Euro Zone countries continued to throw a life line to Greece giving them more loans in the hopes that they will be able to keep Greece in the Zone. I adore Greece people since I met some of the nicest one and this article has nothing to the long suffering of them. But it is now time to get out of Euro and set up their own currency so that they can have control of their own destiny. Sure they will have to endure more pain but in the longer time, it will be good for them as their exports will increase. The new government is adamant that they don’t want to endure more pain inflicted on the Greeks and the latest is that they will have a snap referendum to see if the people will want to stay in the Euro or not. This uncertainty should now end and the people should vote out the Euro and the Euro zone countries should know by now that they will not be able to see their entire loan not returned let alone any interest accumulated on it. And surely the exit of Greece will be disruptive to the world markets but I am sure by now they have anticipated that it would happen sooner or later that the market will adjust to the turmoil. It is time to move on to make the Euro stronger and not wait for the next financial uncertainty to hit them.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Yemen conflict

I have literally lost count of the time when the Yemen conflict started as the Houthi Shiite militia has taken to the streets fighting a Saudi Backed leader whose is fighting to regain control of a country where almost forty percent of the population is Houthi Shiites and the rest are Sunnis with terrorists thrown in for good measure. It all started with corruption (what else is new) in the government and perceived or not marginalization of Houthi rebels. The Saudi always insecure sees them as threat to their security and accused Iran (whether rightly or wrongly ) of supporting them and has launched an aerial assault on them which can be dubbed a Saudi inspired and force coalition by a bunch of countries who are indebted to Saudi money in their times of need. Now it was payback time and the rest you know is still going on but much of the bombing is being done by Saudis, the rest just there to show their support (and gratitude). Now the question arises here that where was this grand coalition when Israeli was bombing Gaza Strip and killing Arab Muslims. Why that is the Muslims are great in killing other Muslims but when it comes to have a fight with Non Muslims they chicken out. The reason is quite simple that there is so much hatred between different sects of the Muslims that they don’t have the time to think about other religions. They are busy trying to point fingers at other Muslims for not being enough Muslims or don’t even consider them Muslims and the racists and nationalist attitude of some Muslim countries (not necessarily Arabs) also have something do with do with how Muslims behave towards each other. Until the above mentioned tendencies are put to rest and buried, all these conflicts among Muslims will keep on going making them further and further behind progress of other nations.

Severe Drought in California, USA

The drought in California, USA enters its fourth year with not enough rainfall and snow levels in its mountain at their lowest levels. Although we hear about the western U.S. in some kind of constant drought but now California has been the exceptional case as drought conditions have forced the government there to implement strict water cutting and rationing laws designed to cope with this emergency. Although I believe that the government was slow to cope with this and still thinks it can ride this through as you have seen the reports about wealthy people not accepting the new reality. But until strict measures are taken including providing water for certain times of day, this restriction, initially voluntary is not going to work. Water is the most essential ingredient and as the population has grown in California, the water requirement has also grown without a corresponding increase in rainfall and snow. Although the farmers with the most senior water rights are being asked to reduce water intake, this water rights issue should be scraped once and fall as it was done more than a century ago with less population and plenty of water. Some people are digging wells draining the underwater ground water so much that it is just a matter of time before it will also dry up to. Punitive fines not in the hundreds but thousands of dollars a day for water wasters including running water and washing their cars should be the main concern and if this does not work, then water supply should be reduce or curtailed for some hours each day. I know it is draconian and in an advanced country like the U.S. not happily accepted but if there is less water to begin with, then all people will suffer for the sins of the few who refuse to acknowledge that they live in a desert area sustained by artificial sense of abundance water supply.

Are we running out of water?

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently came out with a report that shows satellite imagery saying that the earth’s ground water is being depleted very rapidly and maybe we will be running out of water. It shows the most stressed out areas in South Asia, Arabia and Africa. Now we will never know how much water is left and neither does NASA but this is a worrying sign. We may never be able to run out of water but the shortage of water and especially clean water will also be an issue. Look at what California in the U.S. is going through with droughts in the fourth year and no sign of ample water, and this I am talking about the most advanced country in the world. Despite all the human development and advanced, humans have not be able to replete water with a so called artificial water to sustain life. We are constantly looking out of water in far reaches of space and also in our own world, water scarcity has been issue as human population increases and water is being divided among more humans. We are constantly looking at the sky for rain and when sometimes it does not fall that much, we are scrambling to restrict water usage. If you see from world history, wherever there is water, life springs up and if don’t use water carefully we will not be able to sustain any form of life in the future. Remember despite what some people think, water is not an infinite resource and the dire predictions of NASA may still come through as humans are wasting water at an increasing rate.

Uproars in social media

Nowadays social media has become such a powerful tool that anybody be that an ordinary person or a celebrity can bring them either instant popularity or instant scorn in a few minutes. With social media, people have started to become careful about what they say even offline but sometimes people do say things that are hurtful to other people’s feelings and when the general public start to gave them backlash then they scramble to either retract their statement or say that it has been taken out of context which is one of the most favorite words out there for people who have said something utterly despicable. It is a good thing that people are vigilant enough to point out that something is wrong with that person’s statement that they force them to say sorry but do you believe that the person who said that thing did not think it twice before saying it or believing in what they have said. Sometimes even if a person says something which can make sense faces backlash then in that case I believe political correctness has run amok. Okay I can understand that something should not be said in any circumstances and even if that person believes otherwise, he/she should keep it to themselves in this age of fast moving news. But if you believe that what you have said is right in all fairness then you should stick to it as you will and could not please everybody and there is bound be some people who will take offense of your stand for and against certain issues. But sometimes Silence is Golden and you should keep your mouth shut because if you say something it can come back to haunt you years down the road.

The Massacre in South Carolina

A few days ago a white gunman entered a historically black church where there was some bible study going on and opened fire killing nine members and fleeing. Thankfully or luckily whatever you want to say, he was caught in a traffic stop in another state. And it was a pure Christian on Christian attack but with a racist overtone. Now whatever the media is calling it, one fact should be established from the start. It was and is a terrorist act. Terrorists used to be and still are in majority of cases Muslims but the definition of terrorism should also include other races and religions. A terrorist by means of his/her act tries to terrorize and make people afraid of his/her actions and make people live in fear and this has what happened in South Carolina. It was a terrorist attack and a domestic one in that as people should be truly afraid of since it is home grown and bred and nothing to do with religion at all. My heart goes out to the families who have lost their loved ones and also encouraged by their strength to forgive their loved ones killers. But still it will be hard to make your live move on because people who were praying to their lord and not harming anybody were gunned down just because they happen to be of black color. But they still humans and creation of GOD. Nobody has the right to be a judge of what and who is right or wrong and these racist tendencies should be discouraged and pursued wherever it exists or appears because without it America would not be a safe haven for anybody.

On the lighter side-Movies-Focus (2015)-Will Smith, Margot Robbie

A story about a Veteran Con man and his many adventures. Need I say more. Just for time killing and nothing much. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Jurassic World (2015)-Chris Pratt

A dinosaur created in lab wrecks havoc on the visitors of Dinosaur theme park in this exciting and thrilling addition to the Jurassic Park movie franchise. It is best scene in the theaters. Recommended

Sunday, June 14, 2015

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-9

From there we headed towards Hanauma Bay but we reached there just it was about to close. It is a great place to snorkel and relax but we were too late to enjoy it. We saw another mountain nearby called Koko Crater where people will trek to around 1100 stairs or so to reach the top. No can do either. We had lunch nearby and then headed towards our resort going through some of the exclusive residential areas of Honolulu. At night we had dinner at the resort restaurant and enjoy the beautiful night and the surroundings. The next day was our flight so we had to pack our stuff and go to sleep early. Getting up early in the morning was very hard especially it was our last day. I bought some coffee and donuts from the resort breakfast area and after checking out headed towards our car. During the drive back to the airport, my wife was crying to say goodbye to Honolulu and she did not wanted to go, but it was time to leave and get back to reality. Before we had to give our rental car back, we ate and fill up the car with gas and headed for the bus to take us to the airport. We took some snacks at the airport so that we don’t get hungry on our flight which was thankfully 9 hours, two hours less than before. Again short of entertainment options on the Hawaiian Airlines ® the flight was smooth and we did not had any problem reaching our destination in New York, thinking again about the time we will come back to Hawaii.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-8

The next day we went to a place called Waimea valley and falls, it was just across the Waimea beach where he had went before. This is almost a mile trek to a fall where people take a dip and enjoy some swimming. I had to opt out because I do not yet know how to swim but there were enough people to enjoy the falls and the wildlife and trees. On the way back we stopped at the souvenir shop to get some souvenir, and then my wife had a almost obsession to look for a beach where you can find sea turtle. We asked around and found a beach where there was nobody. It seemed like a private beach but still there were no people around. And we did find a turtle coming on the beach, he/she was damn slow to walk which was good for us since we were able to come near and take some pictures. Then we again headed back to eat lunch and then came back to the resort to chill out. The next day was supposed to be a full busy day as we decided to head to Honolulu and go to Pearl Harbor where we saw and toured the ship USS Missouri where the Japanese surrendered in World War II to the Americans. We also had a shaved ice to share and bought some souvenirs at the souvenir shop. After that we went to the Waikiki beach but did not stay there as we headed to the inside of a dead volcano Called Diamond head Crater. We read somewhere that we could drive through in our car but no such luck as we had to park our car and then trek on foot. No thank you a steep walk it would have been.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-7

The day was not already ruined just because of a phone as we ate lunch in a nearby town which had subway® in it and a great ice cream place called Angels. After taking a nap at the resort and we were lazy enough not to go outside and we decided to order Pizza which came pretty fast considering it was not in the same town that we were in. After eating it was time to take to go sleep. The next day we decided to explore the beaches alongside the road. First we went to Waimea Beach which was not that far but it the parking was horrendous as the parking lot was small and people were more. I dropped off my family and starting circling around the lot to see if anybody is going to leave and after a few circles I found a spot. I went to the place where my family was enjoying the sun and the beach. After staying there for an hour or so, we headed towards shark cove, a beach supposedly with sharks nearby, no such luck there. We bought some T-shirts from a vendor nearby and then went to the grocery store to do shopping again. We had a coffee beside the grocery store with a friendly staff. We had a lunch in a place called Giovanni’s Shrimp which was very cheap and they gave a lot of food with it. My wife had coconut water which was not as tasty but it is still considered healthy. At night we went again to the subway® place and on the way back saw a beautiful temple which was shining in the dark. We decided to explore it and found out it is a temple/church of the Mormons, the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-6

It shows that you don’t need to go to a fancy place in order to enjoy good food. After eating there, we headed back to our resort. Although it was not that late but the driving was on a road with few people and lights. A thing that we noticed was that even with minimal light and few people around, we saw some people walking with a woman and baby stroller too which seems to suggest that it was very safe to walk there at night. Anyway reaching our resort, I dropped my family and looked for the parking as the place was packed and you had to really look for a parking spot even far from your resort. I did not mind as I loved walking and the weather was accommodating. Even entering the resort you are greeted by the resort staff and lobby is lively enough that you can sit there and enjoy the ocean view. The next day was the beach day besides the resort. The resort offered two hour snorkeling gear but it was not that of a great use as my wife, despite my insistence on taking her phone, decided to go into the water, forgetting that her phone was in her pocket. She tried to salvage it by doing everything, like burying in the sand for a while but it was no use. But she was not determined to ruin her vacation by mourning over the loss of her phone. I did not know that as I was venturing on the other side of the beach and came to know about when I came back. In the meanwhile, my daughter had received a cut on her hand and we headed to the first aid guy on the beach to get some band aid.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-5

So we wrapped up the first day by making plans for the next one. It was not difficult to make such a plan as we were there to relax and not have a rush to see different sites. The next day we did some swimming in the pool with a background of the beach and since we did not have any grocery stocked in, we decided to do some grocery after the swimming. Although Hawaii is expensive as compared to mainland U.S. due to the fact that they have to import almost everything by air or by sea, I did not felt it expensive. You can say that we did not have a choice but to be fair, when you are in vacation, you really care about how much you are going to spend if you stay in your budget. Along the way to the grocery store, you will numerous beaches and one of the beaches we visited was Sunset beach. Like any other beach in Hawaii at least, it was beautiful with sandy beach and clear water hitting the sand and people just sunbathing or taking a dip in the ocean. It was sunny day and everybody was having fun in the sun. After staying there for a while, we headed back to our resort. If you happen to drive on the north shore of Hawaii, you will see lots of truck vendors selling Shrimp and fish and one of the famous one was Kuhuku Grill in the small town of Kuhuku past our resort. At night we decided to venture to that place and there was rush of people as they were taking one order at a time and then you had wait for your order which was although freshly made but took quite a bit of time. The place was not that fancy but the food was good.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-4

As soon as we left Honolulu, the traffic became thinner and thinner with the sight of high rises and houses vanishing behind us and lush open spaces in front of us. We drove through some of the best beaches as we were eager to reach our destination. When we finally reach our resort, it was beautiful right beside the sea. It is called Turtle Bay Resort. It is on the north shore area of Oahu Island far from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and very tranquil. After checking in, we went to our room and as we entered the view from the room were breaths taking as the waves were splashing against the sandy beaches. The Swimming pool nearby and you can see the whole view of trees and mountains around you. It was like we were in a magical land (I would not call it heaven or paradise because I have not been there (yet)) with few of the maddening rush that you experience in a big city. Here you can easily forget all your worries (for a while at least financially) and just to absorb the views. For us the first day would be rest after a long flight and a long drive. It was almost getting dark but when you are in such a place where you can hear the waves splashing 24 hours a day and the weather is the same all around; your tiredness vanishes very fast. The room with a view was great with the bathroom in a superb condition. For me I always check the bathroom in every hotel or resort I stay. Because if the Bathroom sucks, my stay will not be that great even if you are in a magical land called Hawaii.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-3

But the flight was smooth and the attendants did their best to accommodate their guests. When we landed safely, the baggage was on the other side of a building so we had to drag ourselves there to get it. The weather was picture perfect and we were so excited to reach our dream destination. After getting our luggage, we had to board a bus to take us to the car rental agency Budget ®. Unlike some other car rental companies, they were located not on the airport but a short distance from it. After going through all the formalities of registering our car, we got a mid size Nissan® Sentra ®. Since the food situation on the flight was not to our liking and it was in the afternoon we decided to take our lunch right beside the car rental parking lot. As usual McDonalds ® came to our rescue and after eating it, it was time to go to our resort. Our GPS®, which we have taken to guide us to various destinations around Aloha, refused to recognize the address we put in, as if it did not recognize Hawaii. After working on it for a little while, my wife and I gave up on it and used the map given to us by the Car rental company to guide us to the resort. It was actually one and half hour drive from the airport and as we realized, Hawaii is no different when you are travelling through the city streets and highways. We had hit the roads right at the rush hour and it was packed by luckily we drove through it since we were so mesmerized by the whole Hawaiian experience, the weather and the mountains and the scenery all around.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii-2

So on a Sunday, we ventured warily but definitely excited about our trip to Hawaii. After the usual and customary security check, we went to the gate and got seated and got some snacks as we did not have our breakfast yet. The screen was saying Honolulu eleven hours flight. Although it was cold, I decided to wear a T-Shirt and with slippers on and I was feeling the chills a little bit, but I did not wanted to carry on shoes since it is very disturbing to take off and put on especially during the security check. But for the beach purpose, they were perfect. Well the time came for the boarding and we went inside the plane which was packed. After putting our carry on in the overhead compartment, we got settled and the flight took off on time. You know I have this problem that when the plane takes off and when it lands, there is some queasy feeling in my stomach that does not make me feel good but once I am in the air, it is fine. Well apart from the trip which went smooth with food and snacks provided on equal time, the terrible part of Hawaiian Airlines is that you have to pay for your movies or entertainment and most of the goods snacks were on sale. The sale part you can deal with, but in order to kill 11 hours sitting in a confined area and most of the time on your seating doing nothing is not the sort of activity people want to deal with. But now we know and we can use this lesson to see which airlines are good. My wife told me that Hawaiian Airlines was the only nonstop Airlines and she had a package so we were kind of stuck with the airline.

On the lighter side-Travel-Oahu, Hawaii

I am sure you may have a hidden desire to vacation at least one time in Hawaii and so it was our dream to visit it too. I had been there long time ago with my parents, but not in married life which is a whole different experience. So rather than wait for a some opportune time to visit, we decided this was the year that we will make our dream come through and so with that thought in mind (and finances too), my wife always the resourceful in looking for good enough deals so that we don’t break our bank in the process but also have a decent accommodation during our stay, found one in Oahu, Hawaii. Although before I move on, I would like to emphasize that all the products and accommodation I am mentioning is my own personal opinion based on my experiences and I don’t endorse them and are not paid by any of the companies involved (although secretly I wish I was paid but that is another story). So after much searching in which we had a choice in a budget either to go to Europe or to Hawaii. Europe is a good attraction but I have a problem that my passport was going to expire at the end of August and since we are a beach family (I am beach and mountain person, my family only beach but they also enjoy the mountains but not more than me). Hawaii became the winner at the end and my wife chooses an all inclusive package deal with Hawaiian® Airlines. The most dreaded part of the trip was the eleven hours nonstop flight from New York to Honolulu airport. But that was the only way to go to Hawaii.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Searching for computers-5

My wife ordered it and it was supposed to come in five to seven days time with standard free shipping but it came within four days which was a pleasant and happy surprise. I waited for the weekend to come so I should unpack it and then plug it in with the old one going down in the basement till the time I can go and clean the hard disk and discard it. After plugging the new one, I had to learn a new Operating system while I had to older one Windows 7 and now it is an upgrade to Windows 8.1. Although I had heard complaints about it but for now I am trying to adjusting to it and it is not too bad one you start the hang of it. With any new thing you have to adjust to your own specifications and with the new computer I had to download all the browsers and other software needed to work on that I had previously installed in my older computer. With new computer plugged in, my wife said it is time to order new wire keyboard and mouse so that the wires do not get entangled with other wires. With these new things I am all set to work on my blog and other things and I am back in business with my computer adventures. So do you research and instead of going for the most powerful computer, weigh your finances and chose the one which is most suitable for your needs for a couple of years (but you do use your computer for longer than that). My older one lasted almost four and half years and hopefully this one will last the same time too.

Searching for computers-4

The other one AMD ® was my first computer and it worked fine until it also died. Both the companies have fine processors but with price range for all market segments. For me it all boiled down to how much I would want to spend and if it would be a laptop or a desktop or even a new version in which you just browse the internet and they have much lower storage capacity. I searched for laptop but ultimately decided that a desktop should replace a desktop. I don’t know about you but I am so used to desktop that it is hard to change the habit to do work on a laptop when I am in the house. When you are on the go, there is no comparison about it and you should and must use laptop as most of the laptops do the same function as a desktop but with more mobility. Now I have been using the Microsoft® operating system for the longest time and it is hard to switch to another one but I am warming to the fact that the other ones like Google Chrome ® and Apple ® operating systems also deserve another look and maybe to have an alternative, but the Apple ® one is so expensive that it is right now out of reach of my financial, so I decided to stick to what I am most familiar with and use in the office atmosphere which is Microsoft ® windows. And looking at the price range, my wife ordered a Lenovo ® computer with the cheaper or you can say a slower processor by Intel ® but I am very happy with it as I am not doing anything which I am pressed for time that I cannot wait to process it fast enough.

Searching for computers-3

Well now back to where I was. While my computer was on the last legs of its life, I hurried transfer all my important files on my flash drive. Notice that I said important files, some of my files were not that important and I knew that if my computer went down I would not be that worried about losing those ones, that is why I never saved those files on any of my storage devices. Anyway, before I was going to buy my computer, I would have to see how much I would want to pay for the new one. I started to look around at various online and other retail sites for a new computer and my wife started the same (she ultimately ordered one). Now the decision was which one would be more suited. I became interested in laptops as they were becoming cheaper with more processors and computing power but my heart was still stuck with desktop as I was replacing a desktop. Although I don’t use that much storage space but still I wanted to buy with enough storage for my files. Nowadays when you are looking to buy a computer you have a standard storage space of 500 GB which is enough storage space. You can pay some more money and get a 1TB storage space, but for now 500 GB of space was sufficient for me. There are really two companies out there who dominate the computer market in processors, Intel ® and AMD ®. Intel ® is more expensive and the dominant one. And even in that category, they have different stages of storage for different market segments.

Searching for computers-2

I have all the time in the world to save my files and I don’t have the money to spend more money on USB 3.0 so that my files can be save X amount of seconds or minutes earlier. I would rather wait and do something else while waiting for the files to transfer. If I had less time or if I have more files to download, then maybe I may invest in more fast flash drive, but for my now this may suffice. And now you have so many choices to save their files on several of the cloud services which gives you enough free space that you save on multiple places and also since many households have more than one computer, like laptop and desktop that you can save your files across several computers besides cloud services. And I did the same thing, saving my files across multiple places of storage so that I can access it even if I am away from my home computer. Another day I was reading that besides flash drive, you can have your own personal cloud storage which you can store your files and they come in various storage sizes reaching up to colossal space of 48 TB which is enough to storage a lifetime of stuff. I know that is my expensive but the most affordable one are 16TB and 20TB which is nearly 1600 dollars with the former being around 900 dollars. So there are now more options for storage than ever before and the technology is still improving very rapidly.

Searching for computers

Recently my computer was acting very strangely lately and was shutting down by itself and also restarting for no apparent reason. And also when I was on it sometimes the mouse froze in the middle of web browsing and I had to shut it down to restart again. Sometimes it started to make weird noises and there was no picture on the monitor and I had to the same again, shut it down and restart again. I had misplaced (consider it careless enough to lose) my recovery disc for computer operating systems. I also talked to some IT people who said that it was a motherboard issue and I had to go the tech to fix it and somebody else said that I should contact the manufacturer to find out if they will be able to send me a replacement operating system disc. I was not sure initially what to do since I love my computer but it was making me a little frustrated that it was acting up but I guess it was time to replace it with a new one. I decided that since it was eventually going to die sooner than later, it would be wise to save my files on a flash drive, so I drove to a tech store and got a 32GB drive for less than 12 dollars. Nowadays they are so cheap that it is much easier to buy it to backup your files. I did not even know that there were two different versions of it. I as usual for financial purposes bought a USB 2.0 flash drive because they were cheaper. But there is also a newer kind which is called USB 3.0, the difference between the two being 3.0 is faster and it can take less time to transfer your files than the other one.

On the lighter side-Movies-The taking of tiger mountain (2014-HK-China)

The conflict between a group of People’s Liberation Army and group of bandits during Chinese revolution, with big budget action sequences and storytelling on a grand scale. Long but entertaining. Recommended

Saturday, June 6, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)-Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson

A secret spy agency recruits an unsuspecting candidate in order to train him into fighting an emerging global tech threat in this highly entertaining fun action movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Lazarus Effect (2015)-Olivia Wilde

An okay horror movie about a group of medical students trying to bring dead to life with horrible consequences. Thankfully it ends not too soon. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Jupiter Ascending (2015)-Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis

A sci fi movie about an ordinary woman who is thrust in a position to save a world while fighting with evil aliens. Great action sequences, although a commercial failure. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Demonic (2015)

Part found footage and part movie about Police called in a house where several bodies and a survivor of a massacre who is amnesiac are being investigated. Not scary but weird thriller movie. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Mortdecai (2015)-Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow

Another failure from Johnny Depp, playing as con artist trying to retrieve a painting believed to be inscribed with secret codes about Nazi Loot. Avoid it if you can. Waste of huge cast of talented actors. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Skintrade (2014)-Tony Jaa, Dolph Lundgren

A revenge movie about a cop whose family is killed and he travels to Thailand to wreck havoc on human traffickers. Waste of Tony Jaa talent and his martial arts movie. Just for curiosity sake, watch it for Tony Jaa. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The Marine 4: Moving target (2015)

And they keep on making it with more sequel as a marine protects a high value targeted woman who has exposed corruption evade mercenaries out to kill here. Decent fight scenes but more of the same. Expect more in the future. Recommended for action fans only.

On the lighter side-Movies-Tracers (2015)-Taylor Lautner

This game of Parkour is getting more popular each day as a down on his luck messenger gets involved with a group of Parkour loving people who involve him in criminal activity. An okay movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Redirected (2014-Britain-Lithuania)

I don’t know about other critics but this is a fun British-Lithuanian about four first time robbers who get somehow stranded in Eastern Europe and try to escape an assortment of shady characters. A hyper active movie no doubt. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Still Alice (2014)-Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin

A linguistic professor is diagnosed with early onslaught of Alzheimer’s disease in this award winning movie. The struggle of the professor and her family with the disease is worth watching this excellent movie. Recommended

Monday, May 4, 2015

Feeling indispensable

I don’t know if you have met some people in your life like in work or some other place who think that the organization or whatever they are part of cannot work without them and they feel that they are very indispensable to that organization. They are like more loyal than the king kind of stuff that they feel that what they are doing is the right thing even more than the managers and upper management does. They worry about their work during the work time and when they are going on vacation or are supposedly thinking that they are being sent on vacation by the company, they are worried what would happen to their work and the company while they are away. They feel like the whole company would fall down if they are not there and they don’t only make their life miserable but everybody around them especially the people working under them. But it is no shock to find out that nobody is indispensable and everybody can be replaced. It seems that when someone feels they are indispensable, it I just that the company makes them feel that way, otherwise when leave the company, it may be sometimes hard to work for a few months but things ultimately becomes back to normal and the indispensable person is either forgotten or just fades out of memory. All that worrying about your work or whatever you do have comes down to nothing and your indispensability myth is shattered once you are not there anymore. So some people should get off their high horse and work like they can be replaced anytime instead of feeling so important that you are making everybody life miserable for nothing.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Wedding Ringer (2015)-Kevin hart, Josh Gad

A loser with no friends and getting married in two weeks hires a company’s owner who specializes in Best Man services to provide him with best man in this sometimes hilarious movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Inherent Vice (2014)-Joaquin Phoenix

A slowing movie drama about a private detective looking for a girl in the drug filled Los Angeles in the 70s. Too many characters and the plot keep on expanding. It is way too long and not entertaining. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Gambler (2014)-Mark Wahlberg

A story about a professor who is also addiction to gambling and the ways he uses to repay his debts. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Paddington (2014)-Nicole Kidman

A young Peruvian talking bear travels to london and befriends a family and encounters adventure in this comedy movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Taken 3 (2014)-Liam Neeson

A man goes after people who have killed his ex wife in this continuation of the first block buster movie regarding an ex CIA man. Great actions by tired story. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Cake (2014)-Jennifer Aniston

An excellent acting by Jennifer Aniston about a woman who has to deal with chronic pain along side with her fascination of suicide of a woman in her therapy group. Depressing but satisfying movie. Recommended

Sunday, April 26, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Infected Paradise (2014-Australian)

Not worth your time in this Australian people as a soldier is rescued by some people on a beach and infests every one turning them into raging zombies. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Imitation Game (2014)-Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley

During WWII, the mathematician Alan Turing tries to break the enigma code of the Germans in this true story with excellent performance. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Interstellar (2014)-Matthew McConaughey

Epic movie about a nearly devastated earth who put together a team of astronauts to send them out in space with a mission to find a planet similar to theirs in order to ensure the survivability of earth’s inhabitants. Excellent story line and acting. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Rec 4: Apocalypse (2014-Spanish)

A rescued girl is taken to a ship from a zombie massacre but unknowingly all the ship’s people get infested in this the worst sequel to the original. Not much gore and action to talk about. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The man with the iron fists 2 (2015)-RZA

When a stranger is saved by a village couple, he becomes tangled in the townspeople fight against an evil gang holding them hostage. Unnecessary sequel with few and far fights than the first one. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The woman in black 2: Angel of death (2014)

A group of kids evacuated in WWII London come to an island where the first haunting place to awaken the evil spirits again. Unnecessary remake of the first one. Don’t bother.Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Wild (2014)-Reese Witherspoon

A woman takes a long (1,100 miles) journey to recover from her loss of her mother in this not-that-great movie. A long walk to nowhere but a testament to resilience.Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Maps to the Stars (2014)-Julianne Moore

A dark movie about a celebrity chasing fame and misfortune as tragedy and greed destroy them one by one. Recommended with caution

Friday, April 3, 2015

When in doubt, eat Pizza

If you know what I am talking about, Pizza that innocent looking food with lots of cheese and tomato sauce on flat bread. It is one of the most popular and inexpensive takeout food in the U.S. It is mostly used when the Super bowl is being played and if you have nothing else to cook in the house, you order it. It is safe to eat and comes in various varieties. Sometimes when we have not eaten for a long time and have run out of options what to eat, we order in some slices and if somebody is coming to our house who maybe in a hurry to go, we order in a whole pie which is enough for six to seven people. I have attended many kids birthday parties in different kids entertainment settings and have always encountered that the management always order pizza the most popular being the cheese one. Because of the increasing number of allergies that kids nowadays are having, I am yet to see a kid where they are allergic to pizza, so it really becomes the safest bet to order for the kids of all ages in birthday parties. Even adults eat it with increasing frequency because it is fast eating and you can eat with your hand and on the go without sitting down to eat (which I have seen quite a number of people doing it). So this food has now the become a food of default and when in doubt about what to order safely, it is safe bet that increasing number of people order it without hesitation as it has now become a choice for all religions and cultures.

Restroom stories-2

When you enter a public restroom, you want to get out of there as soon as possible since the stench of the pee and feces can sometimes overwhelm you. The sink where you wash after you have done your thing is not that good either. I really hate to use the urinal because it just gives me the shivers to stand with other men and do the thing. I know that for some people it is the thing to go since they can be in hurry and the restrooms stalls are no fun to enter into, but I had rather wait than to use the urinals. It is just my thing nothing against anybody. In some of the restrooms stalls you will people making things on the doors and sometimes writing phone numbers like somebody would really call them. This happen quite often in colleges but you can also see it in the public restrooms. I don’t know how can have the time to sit there (or stand) and do writing and other personal matters on the walls of the restrooms. Since I am a male I can only write about what goes on the male side of the restrooms as I am sure there may be many stories on the female side too. All I can say that although it is my habit to check restrooms to see how much hygiene or clean they are but it is not fun when you have to share that restroom with thousands of people and the sanitary conditions they are in cannot be described because despite all the efforts of administration, it is still pretty dirty and the faster you are out of there, they better.

Restroom stories

Ok before I proceed any further, I would like to warn my readers that some of the things will gross you out (as it has been from time to time). I have this obsession that where I go I had to check or you can say nature forces me to check out the rest rooms. Be it in a hotel room or lobby, a resort or my or any workplace or the grosses of them all public restrooms and the colorful, the school or the college restrooms. It is human nature that urges you to go relieve yourself wherever are. If you itching to go, it will not matter whether the rest room is clean or not, you will have to finish your job. I try to avoid the restrooms but if it is emergency I try to make sure that I just go for the No. 1 (peeing) because there is no option to go for No. 2 (shitting) although to be fair I have done No. 2 in extreme urgency and believe me it is not I want to wish upon somebody friend or enemy. Although the house toilets are clean as they can be when you visit somebody's home, the same cannot be said about public restrooms as it is used by millions of people who may not follow your own hygiene standards. I know it is gross but sometimes when you are in a public restroom you see that some people don’t even have the courtesy to flush down the toilet. You don’t have to use your hands, just use your shoes but I guess they think that their shoes are cleaner than the restroom they have entered into.

A visit to the cemetery

Recently I visited one of the cemeteries located in central New Jersey where my mother in law is buried along with some of my in laws relatives and acquaintances. It is really a huge cemetery with graves dating back to the last century. Cemeteries are generally a quite place to visit as it is a solemn reminder that if you visiting alive, you will one day come back to it in a coffin and get buried (unless you want to get cremated in which case your body is burned so you don’t feel quite that connected to a cemetery I guess). Anyway it is an eye popping experience as you see people with varying span of life years are buried and name of the person along with the name of their spouses or their parents are written and also their date of birth and death and some kind of inscription to define life or them are engraved on it by the engraver at the request of their surviving loved ones. Most of the people who visit always bring flowers and sometimes some fragrances and read from Holy books and sometimes they cry and remember the good old days of their deceased loved ones. People don’t want to be reminded that one day they will also be in the ground because the thought of it is so fearsome and uncomfortable that most people would rather not talk about it. And then there are those kinds of people who have bought plots of land in the cemetery so that they can be buried next to their loved ones. Any which way you cut, a visit to the cemetery is the most realistic and one of the most fearsome experiences you would ever encounter in your life.

On the lighter side-Travel-Lake Placid, New York-3

The water was so damn cold and I had to stay in one place with top half of the body above water till I felt comfortable enough to take a dip and then enjoy the swim. We stayed there for an hour or so and then headed back to our room. The next day was the check out time and after checking out we decided to a have a breakfast at a local diner which is always a favorite place to eat if you are in a new place because you will get most of the stuff you want anytime of the day and also they stay open at late hours. It had started to snow so we went inside the diner and ordered our breakfast, the best part of the diner was that just a few steps, they shared their space with Starbucks® a perfect combination. As we had already had our coffee, my daughter wanted her own brand of coffee from Starbucks ® so I bought her style of coffee and then we headed towards our vehicle. As we drove away from Lake Placid, the snow became less and less and at a few miles from there, it just vanished. And on the way back we had a bathroom and gas replenishment break at a local rest area and reached home after about five years. If you happen to be in the New York area, you should definitely go to Lake Placid, although there is hiking with the highest peaks of New York State, the beauty and tranquility that accompanies this area would make for a great vacation spot.

On the lighter side-Travel-Lake Placid, New York-2

Approaching our hotel we saw lots of kids with families holding hockey sticks as there was an Olympic Ice hockey nearby. And snow had already fallen with temperature rising a little bit creating slush in the parking lot. After parking we went to the reception area to find the keys and went to our room. It was a spacious room with views of the lake and a fireplace. As the night had already fallen, we ate what we had brought with us and I being the main driver, being exhausted, decided to hit the bed early. In the morning that was another story as we had our breakfast and started to venture to a nearby place which was one of the sights of ski jumping and it had a tall tower where you were supposed to go up the elevator and at the end you can see the whole of Lake Placid area and the nearby mountains with snow covered tops. This was the only thing that we did as there is not much to do around at this time of year with snow all over the place and very few people venturing outside. The village of Lake Placid has all the things you would need to stay with diners, outlet shops and lodgings galore. Anywhere you stay, you can just step outside and venture along the sidewalk and you are within easy reach of all the unique shops that Lake Placid has to offer. We went into some shops to buy some stuff and then came back to our hotel. The hotel had a nice pool with whirlpool and sauna and at night we went there to take a dip.

On the lighter side-Travel-Lake Placid, New York

We have been going to Lake George in Upstate New York for the last couple of years and this we decided that we need to change the scenery and what better place to do that is to travel to Lake Placid, the venue of two winter Olympics and the highest elevated town in New York State. Lake George is approximately four hours ride from my house and Lake Placid is five hours. I was already excited by the thought of having to drive for such long hours with little or no traffic during the winter months. As usual we packed our bags and extra clothing since being at an elevation of more than 1800 feet above sea level and during the winter months it would have been cold. Driving there was no problem but as we approached the town, the population became less and less and wonders of nature more. Empty spaces with streams and brooks flowing and fewer cars on the sometimes narrow roads can be dangerous as you never know what can come out of the woods all of a sudden and as it became nightfall then the drive was becoming a bit slow and we were running low on gas and I was getting panicky as there were no gas station in sight. But luckily we found one and filled the vehicle up so that at least I would have a piece of mind driving to the Lake. As we entered the town I saw at least two or three gas stations lined up there and I said when you want to find one you are not that lucky and when my vehicle is full now I see so many gas stations.

On the lighter side-Movies-Unbroken (2014)

The true story about the Olympian Louis Zamperini who was shot down over the pacific during World War II and survived at sea only to be taken to a Japanese prison camp run by a sadistic warden. It is a hit or miss movie which was slow sometimes and sometimes too sentimental. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hobbit: The battle of the five armies (2014) Luke Evans, Richard Armitage

The hobbit and friends fend off against varying armies to defend the lonely mountain from falling into evil hands. Although from my point of view it has exciting battle sequences but as the title suggest it was all about the battles and nothing much. If you want to continue what happened before the lord of the rings, watch it. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Into the woods (2014)-Meryl Streep

Great musical about a witch who tasks a childless baker to finish some deeds in order to reverse the curse she has put on the baker not to have child. Great music and story. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)-Christian bale

The special effects are good but the story line supposedly inspired by the Bible has a lot of Hollywood treatment to it. The rise of Moses to fight the Pharaoh of Egypt and the whole journey is too long to sustain interest with most of the time involved in deadly plagues. The acting is lot to be desired too. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Muck (2015)

Waste of time supposedly horror movie about a group of friends (what else is there) fighting off evil in an isolated area. Highly not recommened

On the lighter side-Movies- Penguins of Madagascar (2014-Animated)

The penguins from Madagascar gets their own movie in this hit of miss (usually miss) animated movie that is barely okay with scant and weak jokes throughout. Not recommended

Sunday, March 15, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Whiplash (2014)-Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons

A drum student at a music school is pushed to a limit by this teacher in this thrilling drama with Oscar winning performance by J.K. Simmons. A must see. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Late Phases (2014)

A bitter and blind veteran goes to live in a retirement community where the inhabitants are dying in mysterious and bloody circumstances. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)-Ben Stiller, Robin Williams

The night security guard comes back in this third installment in which he tries to preserve the magic that brings ancient things back to life by going uniting all the characters of the museum and going to London to keep the magic from disappearing. Fun movie to watch. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)-Jennifer Lawrence

Katniss is back in this third installment of the futuristic world where she tries to galvanize the down and out people to rebel against dictatorship and cruelty. Not much action to recommend this, although fans would want to take a look so as to finish this series.

On the lighter side-Movies-Dumb and Dumber to (2014)-Jeff Daniels, Jim Carrey

The duo is back in this sometimes hilarious movie when one of them find out he is a father to a girl whom he has never met. They set out to meet the girl and hilarity ensues. Stupid and sometimes offensive jokes abound. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The Judge (2014)-Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall

A big city lawyer travels to a small town where his father a judge is accused of killing a person and despite estrangement between father and son set out to defend his father and reconnects with his family. Overlong and not that great despite great actors. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Hayride 2 (2015)

Another horror movie this time people face a killer with pitchfork in this forgettable movie. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Devil may call (2013)

A young blind operator for a suicide helpline faces terror with one of her persistent and psychotic caller. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Foxcatcher (2014)-Channing Tatum, Steve carell

The tragic story behind the U.S. Olympic team financed by mega rich Dupont family and trained by Olympic wrestling champions and its fallout on all of them. Ok movie watch at your own risk.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Losers and winners in the Oil price drop

As you all know that the oil prices have literally crashed from a high of 120 U.S. dollar to a barrel to 60 U.S. dollars to a barrel. Most of the people who have followed this price drop attribute it to mainly the Shale gas boom in the United States which has turned that country from an importer to net exporter after several decades. At least I believe that many more people like me are happy about this price drop as we are able to pay less money for the gas (Called Petrol in some countries) in our vehicles and leaving much needed money for our other necessities. It is like literary you are have gotten a raise in your salary as the price at the pump keeps on dropping to lows not seen in many years. I hope it stays this way for the foreseeable future. So the consumers are the biggest beneficiary of this price drop and consumers I mean us ordinary folks. But apart from this the poor countries and also developed countries who were spending huge chunks of their budget on importing oil have also been huge beneficiaries of this drop. But on the other hand the oil producing countries of the Middle East and other areas whose economies mainly depend on their capacity to sell oil have been the biggest losers (along with their citizens). And also the big oil companies whose revenues and income made them at the height of their oil price boom bigger than some big industrialized countries (not to mentioned smaller countries) are feeling the pinch with their share price dropping, investors hurting and oil workers getting laid off. As in every situation there are losers and winners and I am glad that I am on the winning side being a consumers saving money at the pump.

On the lighter side-Movies-St.Vincent (2014)-Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy

A little boy moves in with her mother in a new house and immediately develops a bond with his grumpy old neighbor in this heartwarming and funny movie. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Big Hero 6 (2014-Animated)

Winner of the best animated feature of year 2014, this is a 3D animated action comedy animation in which a young genius boy band together with this friends and an inflatable robot to fight a masked villain. Highly enjoyable for kids and adults. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)-Jason Bateman

Sequel to the hit Horrible Bosses, this time the laid off guys try their hand at starting their own business with disastrous and sometimes hilarious results. Funny and enjoyable. Recommended

Sunday, February 22, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Love in the time of Monsters (2014)

Two sisters travel to a resort where one sister’s boyfriend is working and end up being chased by guys dressed as big foot who have been exposed to toxic waste. Cheesy and fun to say the least but not for all tastes. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Birdman (or the unexpected virtue of ignorance) (2014)-Michael Keaton, Naomi watts

An actor who used to play super heroes in movies try to salvage his career and become relevant again while battling his inner demons and other cast characters in order to stage a play on Broadway in this excellent drama. Great acting by all especially Michael Keaton. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The theory of everything (2014)

Biography about one of the most famous scientists of our time Stephen Hawkins and this wife from the time he was at Cambridge and going through his married life. Beautiful acting by lead character. Recommended

Monday, February 16, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-The Guvnors (2014-Britain)

The conflict between the young and the old generation of hooligans as played out in the streets of Britain in this hit or miss movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Alexander and the terrible, horrible, No good very bad day (2014)-Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner

A fun filled family movie about a disastrous day in the life of an eleven year old and his supposedly dysfunctional family. Recommended for fun

On the lighter side-Movies-Julia (2014)

A rape victim takes revenge against her rapist in this dark horror movie which is not for all tastes. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Hell Fire (2012)

A person who thinks he is Anti Christ is abducted by four prostitute and taken to a secluded house where all hells breaks loose in this weird, crazy and bloody horror movies with girls fight galore. Recommended for sheer craziness

On the lighter side-Movies-The Interview (2014)-Seth Rogen, James Franco

The infamous (famous?) controversial movie about the North Korean leader which sparked the famous hacking of the studio that made it and many cinema chains refused to show it is a harmless piece of comedy which is not the funny at all. Two reporters are offered to interview the North Korean leader and try to assassinate him in the process. Recommended only for curiosity sake.

On the ligher side-Movies-Wyrmwood: Road of the dead (2014-Australia)

An Australian Zombie movie as a guy searches for his abducted sister in zombie plagued Australia. Good zombie movie and with good effects. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Nightcrawler (2014)-Jake Gyllenhaal, Renne Russo

A man desperately looking for a job creates his own work by doing crime journalism with dubious means and results. Recommended

Sunday, February 8, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Camp Massacre (2014)

A reality show based on fat people losing some weight becomes the target of an unknown killer in this overlong (for a horror movie) campy horror comedy movie. Fun to watch. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Kill Zombie! (2012-Netherlands)

A crazy zombie comedy from Netherlands which has to be seen to believed. Bloody but different with offensive stereotypes about races. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Guardian (2014)

A martial arts woman tries to save a young girl from death at the hands of her crooked politician father in this unrelenting action movie with both Indonesian and English dialogues. Recommended for action fans only.

On the lighter side-Movies-Wolfcop (2014)

A cop has been transformed into a werewolf and he investigates who did it to him in this horror comedy. Campy but fun. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-John Wick (2014)-Keanu Reeves

An ex-hit man comes out of retirement to track down the criminals who took his late wife’s given dog and his beloved car in this violent thriller. I loved the action. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Ouija (2014)

A blockbuster horror movie that should not be. A game board brings about the evil side of people who play it and tricks them into doing things terrible. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Dracula Untold (2014)-Luke Evans

The origins of Dracula as told in this epic horror movie with great special effects. Recommended

Sunday, February 1, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Gatchaman (2013-Japan)

A mysterious organization controls half of earth and is bent on the annihilation of the human race. Enter another organization that discovers stones which can only be harnessed by certain individuals. And it is these individuals who take on the task to save humanity in this standard Japanese Science fiction movie. Watch at your own risk. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Fury (2014)-Brad Pitt

A lone U.S. tank goes all out war to hit the Nazis in Germany at the end of World War II in this gritty and good war drama. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Before I go to sleep (2014)-Nicole Kidman

A woman wakes up every day not remembering what has happened in her past and with the help of an expert tries to piece together what happened that had made her lose her memory. Good actors but boring story. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-.357 or six bullets for revenge (2013)-Fred Williamson

A woman running from a murderous family has another encounter with them as her husband is killed at wedding night. She pawns a gun and start learning how to take revenge from a kind hearted Vietnam veteran in this standard actioner. Nothing new that you have not seen before. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Everly (2015)-Salma Hayek

A Mexican hit woman barricades herself in her apartment and protects herself from assault from her former lover and assortment of assassins. Pretty bloody but nothing special about it. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Mystic Blade (2014)

Standard Martial arts thriller about an assassin who falls in love with a woman and when this former boss kills his wife takes revenge. Nothing special but thankfully not that long. Not recommended

Saturday, January 24, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-The Boxtrolls (2014-Animated)

A boy raised by trash collecting trolls tries to save them from an evil pest exterminator in this funny and heartwarming stop motion animated movie which can be enjoyed thoroughly by all the family. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Annabelle (2014)

Prequel to the movie The conjuring about a doll which becomes cursed in a house when it is invaded by Satan worshippers. Chills are there but considering how much it cost to make, well worth the viewing and effort. But recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Lucy (2014)-Scarlett Johansson

A drug deal gone wrong makes a woman strong beyond human logic in the action packed thriller which is highly recommended for action fans and others. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Let’s be cops (2014)-Damon Wayans

Two losers in life put on fake cops and start to act like real ones and begin to enjoy it in this funny buddy story. Recommended

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Another Nigerian massacre

I have been tracking this new terror threat in Nigeria from the start and it seems that either the government there does not have the capability to confront Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist organization fighting to create a pure Islamic government ( whatever that means in their version0 in the areas they control or simply don’t care much about them. Whichever is the case, this threat is evolving into an international one as the militants are trying to export their brand of violence into neighboring countries in Africa. While the world was gripped by the violence in France, relatively unknown news came out of Nigeria where reportedly Boko Haram slaughtered almost 2000 people and burned villages and the military was nowhere to be found. Although the Nigerian Military is saying that the figure is close to 150 but anyway the huge numbers killed did not register with the African or even Nigerian Leaders as has been reported. Unlike in France where there was widespread world condemnation and unity rally involving several world leaders (including African ones too), there was no such thing in Nigeria. What to talk about world leaders, even the ordinary citizens of Nigeria did not come out to unify their country against a common threat. I can understand that there is a threat to your life under these circumstances, but if peace loving person stands up there is no way these terrorists can win. It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Nigeria where the government seems helpless in the face of the militant attacks and citizens continue to suffer and there is no appetite for any major foreign powers to send troops to help Nigeria.

A new beginning for Cuba-U.S. relationship

After more than half a century of economic embargo and diplomatic cutoff, the United States announced a sort of normalization of relations with Cuba. I don’t know what transpired this change of heart but it was about time this was going to end. Although the process will be slow but it has started. As usual with any kind of decision like this there are supporters and there are opponents. The people who are enthusiastic about are the ones who were born after the Communist rule started and have suffered under the strain of U.S. embargo and do not care about politics but some calm in their lives. But the opposition has been strong enough made up of people who were exiled and see things through their exiled lenses and believe that the Current President has betrayed them and say that nothing has changed and will not change until the Castro family is out of the way. You know that the U.S. fought in Vietnam which ended around the early seventies and apart from occasional movies about Vietnam, the U.S. has moved on fairly quickly to recognize Vietnam in less than 30 years or so but with Cuba it has just started to make peace with its new decision slowly. But I wonder as with Cuba and Vietnam, how long would it take for the U.S. and Iran to heal their wounds and resume relations. I know there will always be opposition here in the U.S. and in Iran but somebody relations will normalize but again how long and will it beat the longest one with Cuba as it is now almost 35 years since 1979 Iranian revolution. Bad blood is still there but it will take another couple of decades to heal some of the bitterness.

Suspension of your dieting plan in holiday season

Holiday season starting from Thanksgiving Day to the start of New Year is a festive mood here in the United States and other countries. People are generally happy and there are parties going on and people bring different kinds of dessert to their work place and also arrange parties in their homes or outside. And luckily my birthday also falls during the holiday season and I bring a cake to my colleagues at the place where I work and share with them the joyous occasion. And I am not the only one with a birthday around the holiday. But since there is so much cheers and happiness going on that somebody had to bring some cake also and during one of these occasions some lady said that she cannot eat that much since her diet plan will be ruined or it becomes ruined because there is so much to eat. But you know that the temptation is so great that despite all the restraints you cannot help but eat at least one slice of cake or one portion of dessert and I keep on insisting that you will take care of your diet after the holidays as you have to suspend your dieting plan during the holidays as apart from temptation, you don’t want to offend your colleagues, friends, relatives that you will not participate in their happiness and all around festivities. As people tend to overspend during holiday season on presents and then try to pay off their debt after New Year, the same goes with the diet plan as people splurge on unhealthy food and then try to make sure they go on a diet right after New Year.

On the lighter side-Movies-A walk among the tombstones (2014)-Liam Neeson

Not the one that I thought it would be. A private investigator is hired by a drug lord to find out about who kidnapped his wife and why she was killed. I was expecting some more action, but it turned out to be standard TV mystery movie with big name actor. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Once upon a time in Shanghai (2013-Hong Kong)

A new wave of Martial arts movies with greater direction and acting have come out of Hong Kong lately and this is no exception as the action is realistic and hardcore. A laborer decides to try his luck in Shanghai but ends up using his Martial arts skill to survive and help others. Recommended for action fans.

On the lighter side-Movies-Gone Girl (2014)-Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike

When his prominent wife disappears one day, the whole media spotlight makes her husband look suspicious in this gritty and dark movie. With great acting by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. It shows the media trial before the actual trial and how people are easily manipulated. Recommended

The End of moratorium of death penalty in Pakistan-2

As you may know by reading my posts that I am all for death penalty. There can be arguments that death penalty would not bring someone loved ones back or it is riddled with racism and other inaccuracies where the innocent party can be executed. But despite this death penalty is not awarded just right away and the execution taking place the next day. It takes years of appeals and arguments in courts and in the general media to go to that stage and even until the end there is hope that the person given the death penalty will be spared death and his sentence will either be overturned or commuted to life imprisonment. But in Pakistan's case, the accused were said to be coerced into given confession which implicated them into some heinous crimes but mostly the terrorists brag about their ''accomplishments" and do not feel any remorse in saying that they killed it in the name of their so called "religion". The death penalty currently being applied may appall many so called human right organization but right now there is no other deterrence available to Pakistan as it continues its battle against Islamic extremism and militancy. Given all the noises made around the world regarding the complicity of the Pakistani Military in the growth of the militancy. But with the new Army chief in place, there is some sort of recognition all the international pressure about doing away with death penalty has to be ignored if Pakistan has to survive as a nation. I will talk about the death penalty sometimes later on but for now I welcome the restoration of death penalty in Pakistan.

The End of moratorium of death penalty in Pakistan

After the attack on a school in Pakistan which killed more than 120 kids, Pakistan decided that enough is enough and they lifted a moratorium on death penalty for the last six years. The moratorium did not mean that death penalty was abolished; it just put a hold on it. The judges kept on passing on the death sentence but their final appeals were also rejected but they were on death row because nobody was executed, save one who was sentenced by a military court and hanged during this moratorium. The reason was not that suddenly Pakistan became a beacon of human rights but reportedly it was said that the European Union had supposedly threaten to take away the privilege of greater access to their markets if the death penalty moratorium was not instituted. This seems not be substantiated as both sides deny this but whatever is the case it was a disaster for Pakistan as human rights were abused more by this than anything else. Due to this moratorium and the still sentencing people to death, the death row has swelled to almost eight thousand prisoners which is by far the largest in the world. But due to these terrorists who have been striking with impunity and killing hundreds of people every month had not fear of the law. Even if they were caught and awarded the death penalty, they knew that they will not be put to death and one of these days their comrades will come and free them from the notoriously lax jail security. Now with the death penalty restored every person who has been sentenced to death and have all their appeals exhausted is panicking and asking for mercy from the President of Pakistan.

The French terrorist killings-3

Too many privacy issues in Europe have given added momentum for the radicals to publicize their wares without the government snooping around their business. I truly understand that privacy concern are legitimate but the war that is now being fought is entirely different when whole armies used to stand face to face and fight it out. I have already emphasized in my blog that either you can have privacy and be insecure or have less privacy and feel a bit secure. Although people are hesitant to give up their privacy because they don’t want the governments to snoop into their lives but in an age where the terrorists are using all kind of technology to recruit new adheres and spread their agenda due to this so called "freedom of speech", there is no choice for the government but to increase their surveillance and monitoring of people's lives to know where the next threat is going to come from. It is interesting to find out what measures, if any, France will take to tackle this menace amongst their midst as there seems like many legitimate grievances that can become potential magnet for somebody crazy enough to act alone or band with some other like minded individuals to attack people at random as has been emphasized by the latest threats by ISIS and other groups to attack civilians, Police and other security agencies personnel in the West as they are also considered part of the same so called " crusader army" and the backlash that the Muslims will face from the far right anti Islamic agenda. I will talk about the freedom of speech issue and other issues related to it.

The French terrorist killings-2

Now the latest news is that the terrorists killed in the French carnage were on the U.S. no fly list and the French intelligence had put them surveillance for their activities. But all this did not stop the massacre that happened in France. As everybody by now knows that France is host to the largest Muslim population in Europe, and most if not all have been marginalized due to their ethnic and religious affiliation. I was also surprised to read that in France it is customary to put your photo on your resume and it gives a best chance for corporate managers to discriminate. The Muslim population has been disenfranchised for a long time in France and despite being secular in nature; France does discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation. My opinion is not the trivialize what happened in France but to convey the fact that these kinds of events are bound to happen as France looks the other way while its Muslim population become increasingly radicalized and disillusioned with dim job prospects for them. Already there have been several threats against France by ISIS and Al-Qaeda and as I read on one of the websites that France is not prepared to fully respond to the threats. The unity rally that happened yesterday expressed solidarity with the victims was a great gesture but would it be able to stop more attacks when the root cause of the problem is not solved. It is reported that more than 900 French have joined the battle in Iraq and Syria and French government looks helpless in tracking down who is coming in or out of France.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The French terrorist killings

Just yesterday, allegedly three gunmen entered the building of one prominent French satirical magazine and killed 12 years before fleeing in a car. I saw the video where the gunmen entered calmly and fled calmly. Supposedly they raised the slogan of "God is great" after doing their business. Now you can say that it is part of the Islamic terrorism and Islam is the cause of it. But here I want to emphasize that the satirical magazine had angered not only Muslims but other religious sentiments and for that they were also fire bombed a few years ago. But is this the way to silence your critics when you have a perfect opportunity to use your reason to convince others of your opinion. This act of terrorism should be condemned in the loudest terms by all but especially the so called Muslims leaders who due to their petty and personal sectarian agenda have been keeping quiet about extremism in their midst for years. And since France does not have a death penalty on its books, how will you treat such terrorists if ever they are captured. Even if you don’t believe in death penalty, how would you treat such individuals who had clear intentions of taking lives away that day? If you throw them away for life still they will be living inside a jail of their own actions. I believe that for some heinous crimes there is no other remedy but to reinstate the death penalty even if the so called European human rights organizations don’t agree with me on it.

The Year in Review-2014-5

With all the chaos taking place in Syria and Iraq especially Iraq, the rise of the Kurds have been particularly spectacular. This group although Sunni have never been given its due share in the Iraqi government. And the Arabs, although Sunnis, never liked the Kurds because they were of different ethnicity and hence have different cultures. During the ISIS blitz in Iraq, the Kurds were being displaced in increasing numbers and since the Kurds have come to ally themselves with the West, they were equally qualified to fight off ISIS and they have done a remarkable job till now. The New Shiite Iraqi government also went along and provided them with weapons and support from other Shiite Fighters and for now Kurds having been holding up pretty much against ISIS. And with this acknowledgment, the Kurds are systematically pushing for a nation of their own, although, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran are resistant to that idea due to their own Kurd population. And the now biggest news that has impacted me financially and I know hundreds of millions of people worldwide is the price of oil which has dropped from more than 110 dollars a barrel to now below 50 dollars with contributing factor of the United States being a net producer due to the fracking technology that has unleashed. I know that the oil exporting countries are hurting but the rest of the worlds' countries are getting the benefit of lower oil prices and growth in their economies. So that is all I have to write about the major events of last year, hopefully this year will be must better. So Happy New Year to you and your families.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Year in Review-2014-4

As it keeps on happening in the Middle East, another Israeli-Palestinian conflict flared up. The reason was that three Israeli teenagers were supposedly kidnapped and then killed by the Palestinians who initially denied it but acknowledged their role when the war started. And the war was mainly confined to the Hamas ruled Gaza Strip as the West Bank ruled by its opposition was not touched. Although the Palestinians won the social media war but the sad part was that they did not won the hearts of the Arab government as the Arabs fearful of its Islamic background sometimes condemned its leadership and sometimes just ignored the casualties? At the end of the year a historical U.S. decision to restore ties with the Cuban government after over 50 years of imposing embargo on it. Some of the people were happy and some were not on this sudden turn of events as is the case with every decision which affects people. After much dallying by the U.S. and its allies, finally was the time to have an air campaign against ISIS to stop their advances towards the Iraqi capital Baghdad and roll back their victories. The U.S. (as usual) started to assemble a coalition of the forced including Arab allies to make it sound like the Arab Muslims are also against ISIS. Although experts are saying that this battle against ISIS will have to involve ground troops but so far the U.S. has resisted committing significant number of troops, although a few thousand are still on the ground taking the role of advising the Iraqi troops how to deal with ISIS. Curiously the U.S. has not invited Iran to play a role here as they need not need any invitation to join this war as they are already on the ground.

The Year in Review-2014-3

This was also the year when the Nigerian Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped several hundred girls and despite efforts by the United States and an admittedly lack luster search by the Nigerian Security forces, they have not been found and remained in hostages or even worse no one knows. In South Korea, a ferry capsized and sank killing more than 300 people and sparked a nationwide mourning for the victims who were mostly high school kids. In Iraq and Syria, another Islamic terrorist group ISIS grew in strength supposedly out of nowhere and captured large parts of Iraq and Syria and established a so called Islamic State which they called Caliphate ruled by supposedly Islamic laws making hundreds of thousands of people flee from their homes who did not adhere to ISIS’s sect and who feared for their lives because they did not want to be part of it. Again we go back to Nigeria as it has been in the news very much lately and if you have read my blog about Boko Haram, they are not ready to slow down and indeed they killed hundreds of people in one sweep in Nigeria last year and the killings continues to this day with increasing frequency and determination and they are gaining and capturing more and more area of Nigeria. In the same year, the world cup was held in Brazil which was won by Germany. Another Malaysian plane flying over Ukraine worn torn area was shot down and it has not been determined yet whether it was shot down by rebels or the Ukrainian security forces.